FEATURE: ‘Balancing road and track’ with Alex ManlyTue 13 Nov 2018
Going into her fifth season with Mitchelton-SCOTT and still only 22-years-old, Alex Manly successfully juggles commitments on both the road for her team and the polished boards of the track when representing Australia. How hard is it to jump between the two?
A Commonwealth Games Gold medalist in the Team Pursuit and double Australian U23 road and time trial champion, it’s safe to say that this season started well for Manly, before coming to a frustrating close after crashing out of the Madrid Challenge in September and fracturing her shoulder.
Now well on the road to recovery and looking ahead to another year with Mitchelton-SCOTT in 2019, the 22-year-old will be targeting another season with a solid balance of road and track commitments. The UCI Track World Championships come first at the end of February in Poland before Manly makes the switch to the road.
2018 and team success:
Looking back on 2018 after playing key supporting roles in what turned into Mitchelton-SCOTT’s most successful season in the team’s history, what can be taken from an environment where there’s so much desire to achieve results and how infectious is that motivation?
“I really loved racing my bike with the girls this year. It is super motivating to be in an environment where we are striving as a team to win every race we are competing in.”
“We have come a really long way since I first joined the team back in 2015. I feel like it's taken a while but I'm finally in a position to contribute to the girls winning big races and it's really exciting.
“I'm really looking forward to watching the new girls thrive in the environment we've created and watch the girls re-signing to take their 2018 learnings into the next season. We have a lot of girls that are in the mix to win races and I'm looking forward to helping them achieve their goals.”
Goals for 2019 from road support to track worlds:
How does that set you up to go into 2019 and how difficult can it be following two elite pursuits with both road and track commitments? Are you always conscious of managing that?
“It's always something I think about to try and manage my commitments to both the track and the road. This year I'm confident with the plan in place. I will focus on the track leading into track worlds and then head over to Europe to support the girls on the road. I will then come back to Australia a little earlier to focus more on the track.”
“It can be difficult to jump between the two, but I've gotten better at handling the jump over the years.
“For 2019 my main goal on the road is to assist the girls to win bike races. The other part of that goal is to be making smarter decisions to get in the final moves and be able to further help my teammates.
“On the track my goal is to recover from my fractured shoulder over this next period to then be in a position to chase rainbows at the World Champs in Poland.”
Date of Birth: 28th February 1996 (22)
Place of Brith: Kalgoorlie, Western Asutralia
Turned Pro: 2015
Key results in 2018:
- 1st National Championships U23 - Road Race
- 1st National Championships U23 - Time Trial
- 1st Commonwealth Games - Team Pursuit
- 1st National Track Championships - Team Pursuit
- 2nd Ladies Tour of Norway – TTT
- 3rd Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta – Stage 1 (TTT)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.